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Judge rules Lang’ata pupils can use playing field

A company claiming ownership of Lang’ata Road Primary School’s playground has lost a bid to stop pupils from accessing the field.

High Court Judge Mary Gitumbi also declined a request by Airport View Housing Limited to stop further demolition of the perimeter wall around the contested playground or any encroachment on the property.

“Having heard the application, I am not satisfied and decline to issue any interim orders at this juncture since the application can be heard and determined within a short time,” ruled Judge Gitumbi.

DEMOLITION ORDER

Her decision came a few hours after Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery ordered the company to bring down the wall and clear the debris within 24 hours.

He also directed the Nairobi County Government to construct a fence around the playground.

Airport View Housing Limited came out for the first time to claim ownership of the land through lawyer William Ochanda.

It sought orders to stop demolition of the wall, arguing that they applied and obtained permission from the county government.

“The company is the registered owner of the land and erected the wall with the approval of Nairobi County Government. Building of the wall was prompted by constant trespass by the respondent through Lang’ata Road Primary School,” Mr Ochanda said.

LEGALLY ACQUIRED

Although the court papers did not disclose who the directors of the company are, the application was supported by an affidavit by Mr Dedan Mwangi, who identified himself as the property manager.

He said the firm legally acquired the land from the government on October 1, 1989.

“The land does not belong to the Nairobi County Government or Lang’ata Road Primary School. We have evidence that it belongs to us,” Mr Mwangi said.

Judge Gitumbi gave the county government, which the firm named as the respondent, seven days to file their reply. Hearing is scheduled for February 4.